Today’s Thoughts: Just when I begin thinking that we have moved beyond the sexual scandals of the Church it raises its ugly head again. I am convinced that we will never get beyond it in my life time and perhaps we shouldn’t! In my thoughts on today’s readings, I am going to speak from the perspective of a priest, a member of the hierarchy of the Church. While I have never abused a child in any way, or been abused myself, I am still a member of fraternal organization, a hierarchy, a leadership who has. So, I share with you my perspective.
Today’s Gospel (Matt. 18:1-5, 10, 12-14) gives me pause to ponder the scandal that has been such a presence in my life as a priest. In Jesus’ words today, we are reminded why the sexual scandals of the Church were and continued to be so wrong. Hurting children in any way goes against all that Jesus taught. The sin that we, the hierarchy of the Church, continues to carry, the sin of actions and in-actions, the sin of indifference, the sin of hurt and pain, the sin of stealing innocence, the sin of not protecting, the sin of covering up, the sin of not responding should remain with us and never leave us.
When we hear the words of today’s Gospel they should always give us pause to ponder what has been done to children in our name. These words should give us pause to ponder how our actions and in-actions as priests, deacons, bishops, cardinals and popes have led to so much hurt, pain and the loss of God’s little ones!
These words of Jesus should never be far from our thoughts and our hearts so that we will be humble people and always receive God’s children as if we are receiving God. If this is not our attitude, if this is not what drives our ministry then we should not be priests, deacons, bishops, cardinals or popes. Humility will make us people who respect not who are arrogance. May God and the children we have hurt forgive us and may we never let this happen again.
On a more positive note perhaps we need to remember the words of Fr. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, SJ – “The future belongs to those who give the next generation reason for hope.” Let us give hope not take it away!
Have a great Tuesday everyone!
PS If you know anyone who has been hurt, affected in anyway but the actions of the hierarchy of the Church please share my reflections with them if you think they may help.
Fr. Paul R. Fagan, C.P. "Preacher on the Run"
Just a few thoughts to help you on your journey through life...let me know from time to time what you think...